Interstate 895 southbound at the Westchester and MTA #6 Subway line bridges. Photo taken 07/15/17.
I-895 follows the Sheridan Expressway north from Interstate 278 (Bruckner Expressway) to Interstate 95 (Cross Bronx Expressway) for a little more than a mile in Bronx, New York. The wye interchange at the south end includes a left entrance ramp from the southbound Sheridan to the westbound Bruckner Expressways. This configuration remains from when I-278 took the Sheridan Expressway south from the Cross Bronx Expressway.
The Sheridan Expressway branches north from the Bruckner Expressway along an elevated viaduct to Westchester Avenue. I-895 lowers to grade level from there, parallel to the Bronx River to I-95. A partial interchange connects the north end of I-895 with I-95 south and East 177th Street by Tremont Avenue.
An application for the elimination of Interstate 895 was approved by AASHTO at the Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering meeting held on September 24, 2017. The approval follows a TIGER II study that recommended converting the freeway into at-grade boulevard with three signalized intersections.1
The Sheridan Expressway between the Bruckner Expressway and I-95 (Cross Bronx Expressway) was completed in 19631 and designated as Interstate 278. Plans at the time extended the freeway 5.2 miles to the New England Thruway (I-95) in the north Bronx as the northernmost leg of Interstate 278. Community opposition however halted work on the route beyond the Cross Bronx Expressway, ultimately leading to its cancellation.
AASHTO deleted I-278 along the unbuilt Sheridan Expressway on June 23, 1969 while renumbering the remaining portion of the freeway as Interstate 895. The meeting also redesignated the Bruckner Expressway east from the Sheridan as I-278 in place of Interstate 878.
Discussion in the mid-2000s involved removing the Sheridan Expressway and converting the freeway into a surface road and linear park. Community leaders previously advocated for the expressway removal in the mid 1990s, but the idea did not gain enough traction to move forward. New York State DOT (NYSDOT) rejected a similar proposal to remove the freeway in July 2010, citing traffic analysis that forced traffic onto local streets. Local advocates turned their attention to the city level, leading to a $1.5 million TIGER grant from the U.S. DOT to study the removal. The subsequent study released by the city in June 2013 recommended a surface road with wide sidewalks and planted buffers. City Council endorsed the plan in March 2014. The plan was eventually approved by NYSDOT,2 and the 2016-17 state budget agreement made in March 2016 included $97 million to decommission the Sheridan Expressway and create an urban boulevard.3
The MPO passed a resolution in April 2017 to reclassify Interstate 895 as an at-grade Urban Arterial. NYSDOT proposals retain the ramp connections at both I-278 to the south and I-95 to the north, with the arterial remaining on the National Network of Qualifying Highways, permitting truck access. The route will be renumbered as New York 895.1 Construction on the Arthur Sheridan Enhancement Project gets underway in the fall of 2018.